I was glad we decided to tackle Muir Pass in the morning with fresh legs. We were camped 3.5 miles from the top and although the grade wasn’t too steep, the path was long and extremely hard to follow.
The first time I lost the trail was after I shot a quick video of myself. I must have got distracted and ended up on the wrong side of a waterfall which I ended up trudging through with wet shoes. Shortly afterwards I lost the trail again after it turned into large flat rocks. If it wasn’t for Guthook’s app I never would have made it through this section. I’m not tall enough to catch site of the trail once I’ve lost it, and it’s really hard to find when there’s snow and footprints going in all sorts of directions.
When I reached the pass UB was already there making coffee in the cute little hut at the top. Awesome!! Not long afterwards we saw a familiar looking hiker coming towards us up the pass. It was Red, one of the Andrews and shortly after him was the other Andrew and their friend Mike. It was so good to see their familiar faces again. I’ve found in the Sierras a lot of people hike a similar pace, therefore you end up leapfrogging the same hikers for numerous days without seeing new people other than south bounders.
Speaking of south bounders, maybe an hour or just over down the other side of the pass we bumped into Snort and her sister Hannah coming south bound down the trail. Mumma and Pappa Snort had given me the heads up that they were heading our way but I had no idea when we would bump into them. It was perfect timing as we were both minutes away from stopping for lunch, so we found a cosy spot and got comfortable while catching up on trail gossip and what lay ahead of us on the trail. Snort mentioned they had been to VVR and that there was lots of food in the hiker box. Our ears pricked up at this as we only had two days of food left and about 3-4 days of hiking.
The rest of the day’s miles were downhill or flat and to be honest although the forest was beautiful, it was one of the most boring sections of the trail. I tried playing the game ‘would you rather’ with UB, but I think my first scenario scared him off and after that we walked in silence until camp. Penny I think we’ve taken this game a little too far in our many years, I will remember to tone at least the first question down with future participants!
UB got slightly ahead of me towards the end of the day and had already ‘forded’ across Evolution Creek, one of the biggest river crossings, by the time I got there. He had walked straight through, shoes and all, so I simply did the same. It probably came up to my knees in the deepest section, but it was nothing compared to high snow years where hikers would be waist deep in fast rushing, icy cold water.
When we set up camp the topic of our differing hiking styles popped up again. We can both hike big miles, but I hike slower and longer and UB hikes shorter and faster. This means when we hike together we hike slower and shorter and make half the miles we would on our own. At this stage we both want to ensure we make it to Canada efficiently and so it was decided from Mammoth Lakes we would hike out own hikes.